naikon
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:42 pm

Power consumption with GUI OS vs non-GUI OS

Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:46 pm

Hello

I am choosing between Raspbian (GUI) or Raspbian Lite (only terminal) and I'm wondering if there is any difference in power consumption between these two OS's? It's gonna be turned on 24/7 and 99% of the time idling.

Thanks

klricks
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:01 am
Location: Grants Pass, OR, USA
Contact: Website

Re: Power consumption with GUI OS vs non-GUI OS

Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:49 pm

naikon wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:46 pm
Hello

I am choosing between Raspbian (GUI) or Raspbian Lite (only terminal) and I'm wondering if there is any difference in power consumption between these two OS's? It's gonna be turned on 24/7 and 99% of the time idling.

Thanks
I doubt there is any significant difference. One option would be to install the full desktop version.... Then if you find you don't need the GUI, use the config tool to change the boot option to CLI.
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated RPiOS Buster w/ Desktop OS.

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HawaiianPi
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Power consumption with GUI OS vs non-GUI OS

Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:18 pm

Well, an HDMI connection will use a tiny bit more power. As for the OS itself, running the GUI requires more software, and that would put more load on the SoC, but I doubt it would have a large impact on total power consumption. And as klricks said above, the Desktop version of Raspbian can be configured to boot to the CLI (not load the GUI).

Do note that the Desktop version includes loads of extra software, which may make upgrades take much longer (depending on what is being upgraded), and will use up more storage space on your SD card. If you don't need all the extra software you could start with Raspbian Lite and add the GUI if needed (sudo apt install raspberrypi-ui-mods).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

W. H. Heydt
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Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Power consumption with GUI OS vs non-GUI OS

Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:43 am

The two versions are the same OS. In Linux, the GUI isn't "baked in" to the OS, but is just more programs that run under OS control. That's why you can have a variety of different GUIs to choose from.

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B.Goode
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Location: UK

Re: Power consumption with GUI OS vs non-GUI OS

Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:19 am

From https://www.raspberrypi.org/about/
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world, able to solve the problems that matter to them, and equipped for the jobs of the future.

If the answer to your question is important to you, why not try each version of the Raspbian Operating System and measure the effect on power consumption yourself?

That way you will know that you have taken a decision based on the use of an RPi in your actual circumstances. The only cost will be a little of your time.

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